INDIANAPOLIS – A former New York police commissioner hired to clean up and modernize the Indianapolis Police Department submitted his resignation Friday after more than a year of criticism over investigators mishandling of evidence in a fatal crash involving an officer.
Public Safety Director Frank Straub will remain in his position possibly until Aug. 1 during a search for his replacement, the mayors office said.
Straubs resignation came 11 days after the citys police chief resigned amid revelations that the department mishandled a blood sample taken from officer David Bisard after the August 2010 crash. Drunken-driving charges against Bisard have been dismissed by a judge because of trouble with the blood tests.
Straub denied that there was any connection between his resignation and flak over his management of the police department.
This is something in all honesty that Ive been thinking about for a long while now, Straub said. I think when you are hired to re-engineer an organization; its a challenging position to be in.
Mayor Greg Ballard hired Straub in 2009 to oversee the citys public safety agencies. Straub had been police commissioner of White Plains, N.Y., for seven years. Both Straubs resignation letter and the mayors statement touted Straubs accomplishments, including lower homicide levels, improved training, integrated agency operations and increased diversity.
Frank Straub came to Indianapolis facing the difficult task of updating and modernizing the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at the same time preparing for and successfully hosting the highest profile event in this citys history, Ballard said in a statement, referring to the 2012 Super Bowl.
In his resignation letter, Straub said he had been hired to re-engineer the police department and had largely succeeded, though he acknowledged there was still work to be done to address systemic weaknesses and restore public trust. He said his administration had overhauled the departments professional standards division – formerly known as internal affairs – and been relentless in pursuit of officers who tarnish their badge.
In two years before Straub was hired, Indianapolis officers had been accused of trafficking drugs, arson, running a prostitution ring and taking bribes.